Skip to main content

Palace Half Marathon - King Henry's Race

With the Madrid marathon a short five weeks away, my training is getting pretty intense. So far I've had one 20 mile run and the next two weeks are the toughest in the program. This past week was an "easy" week, which meant lighter mileage at a slower pace. I really enjoy these recovery weeks every four weeks and this past weekend planned in a half marathon with Beth at Hampton Court Palace.

We chose those race for its proximity to our house as well as being a very familiar route. It starts at the main entrance to Hampton Court (home of King Henry VIII) and ends in the Palace gardens. I've run most of this route many times before.

The races started in waves due to the tight towpath along the river. I started in wave 1, Beth was in wave 7. This was her first half in a few years, certainly her first since we moved to London.

I like to have a latte pick-me-up before I start my runs, so as we were a bit early, we headed to the cafe. We also knew this would have the least crowded toilets!

As race time approached we parted ways. Beth to drop our bag off at the event village while I headed to the starting line. And what a cool start it was! About 3500 runners packed in from of the King's home. The King himself was even at the start line seeing us off (and hopefully not beheading anyone).

The race started and my goals were simple. Take it easy, enjoy the race, find a comfortable pace in which I wouldn't breathe too heavy, and work on negative splits (run the 2nd half faster than the 1st half). I've been working hard to "feel" my marathon pace, which means not looking at my watch very often. Halfway into the race I took a peek at my watch and realised I was about 30 seconds faster than marathon pace. If I slowed down, that would mean not hitting my negative splits, which was more of a priority Sunday. So on I went, feeling comfortable and starting to gradually pick up the pace.

The course was lovely! The riverside views make for a great distraction. Then we turned into Home Park for the last two miles and BAM the wind hit us right in the face. It was like running straight into a wall of wind. This was a fun challenge to finish out the race. Many runners were fading by this point, yet I still felt pretty fresh. It's odd how 13.1 miles doesn't seem like a very long run anymore.

I finished in 1:36:14 for my second best half marathon time ever. I certainly wasn't expecting that. What I loved even more was nailing the negative splits!

I crossed the finish line, grabbed a few extra drinks and suddenly, there he is...King Henry VIII. I had to get a post-race photo with him.

He was super gracious and made sure that I had enjoyed myself. I took the opportunity before Beth finished to use the toilet, cool down, change my shirt, put on my jacket, use the toilet, do some stretching, eat a pizza and go find Beth along the finish.

I'm super proud of her! She's been working so hard for months now on her dieting and workouts, then she threw training for a half marathon into the mix. That ain't easy!

Then I see her, running with about 1/2 mile to go. I ran to the fence to cheer her on, then raced ahead to see her as she approached the finish.

And that was that! Another half marathon in the books. One last picture with King Henry and we headed home to relax our sore muscles the rest of the day.

A post shared by Beth Kriebel (@kriebelbeth) on


  1. How exciting for both of you but specially Beth. A big congratulations it is hard to add finding time to run w a full mom schedule. What a great picture too. You both look fantastic.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fort William Marathon: The Best Kept Secret in Racing

Earlier this year I had been training hard for the Limassol Marathon, through ice and sleet and snow, only to have what I considered a disappointing race. I struggled to recover mentally, but I knew I had another race on the horizon...the Fort William Marathon. This event was my first marathon back in July 2015, shortly after the family made the move to London. The main difference this time, though, was that we're three kids lighter with Michael and the twins all back in the US for some time with their friends.

I hadn't thought much about running this race again until Chris, the race organizer, reached out to me to offer me a complimentary spot. This was incredibly generous and given how much I liked the race the first time, there was no way I was going to refuse. Granted, Chris made this offer well before the race in Cyprus.

The posts-Limassol blues stuck around for much longer than I'd expected. I was really down on myself, questioning why I put in the effort and the tr…

A 103 Minute Gelato Tour of London

My friend Eva got into town yesterday and I happened to mention a few weeks ago about the amazing gelato tour that Beth and I did back in September 2016. Now, if you know Eva, she's a massive fan of gelato, and she's vegan, and each of the stops on the gelato tour had vegan flavors. And she can eat...A LOT!

Since I didn't have a whole lot to do at work yesterday, we decided to make our own little gelato tour, hitting my three favorite stops from the five stop tour Beth and I did.

We took the bus from St. Paul's to Savoy and began to walk to our first stop. Wait, what's that in bright orange up on the right? OMG! It's a big groups of Reese's employees giving out free peanut butter eggs! I so wanted one of their jackets and hats, but settled for a silly picture.

One we went to our first stop, Gelatorino in Covent Garden. This was the last stop on the tour Beth and it's authentically Italian. It remind me so much of all of the gelatorias we went to in Tus…

Race Recap: London Winter Run

Back in August when we signed up for the London Winter Run 10K, it was sunny and warm. Perhaps the race organizers do this intentionally so that people don't think about how freaking cold it can get in the depths of winter in London. Between the winds and the temps, it was a pretty brutal morning for a race with temps around 37ºF / 3ºC and winds at a gusty 12mph. However, in central London anywhere near River Thames, the winds are often much higher and race day was no exception.

The route through central London is likely what attracted 16,449 runners.

The race begins at Trafalgar Square, famous for often being the center of political demonstrations and anti-war protests.

The route heads east past the Savoy Hotel and London School of Economics, out to the Bank of England before circling back past St. Paul's Cathedral.

From there, the route heads back west to the finish, passing the London Stock Exchange and Somerset House. In the last, downhill straightaway, we passed Horse Gu…